Floor Patterns, 2010-2011
“Floor Patterns" are digital scans of the small areas where the floor is visible in Mathew Brady's studio portraits. Cross-hatched linoleum, swirling carpets, zig-zagging brickwork--these charged surfaces where Brady's subjects once stood--are the basis for these abstractions. The pixels are colorized with the half-tone filter in Photoshop and printed on Kodak metallic paper. They are mounted on aluminum. The appearance of the photographs shift as the viewer moves around the work, referencing the visual experience of looking at a daguerreotype.
While researching the Brady studio at 359 Broadway, I used the flooring materials visible in Brady’s portraits to try to identify where certain photographs were taken. Many of Brady's works are not dated or identified by studio address and, to make matters worse, he had a series of studio addresses on Broadway over the course of his career. Over time I saw patterns in the patterns: meaning that each studio location featured certain signature flooring materials. In the end, my informal dating methods turned my attention to the significance of the floors and the intensity of the patterns themselves.